19 November 2003
Come nell'occhio nostro se fa la visione, an optical treatise in Italian, ILLUSTRATED MANUSCRIPT ON PAPER
[Italy, first half 17th century]
202 x 13mm. 24 leaves within a later paper bifolio, 1-38, paginated from the second leaf 1-46, 22-24 lines in brown ink in a cursive hand, DIAGRAMS IN RED CHALK on pp.6, 11, 16 and 24, title and notes on first leaf showing that formerly part of a Sammelband (outer margin trimmed on a few rectos cropping a few of the final letters). 18th-century vellum gilt (vellum splitting at side and lower edge of upper cover and lacking from lower corner of lower cover).
It was not until the 16th and 17th centuries that work on the anatomy of the eye advanced the understanding of optics and vision beyond that first formulated by Galen in the 2nd century. This manuscript represents part of that pursuit and exemplifies the painstaking reasoning used to establish the laws governing man's perception and his relationship with the natural world.
The finely drawn diagrams are a cross section of the eye (p.6), the bones of the inner ear (p.11), a section of convex mirror (p.16) and a diagram of the eye with the rays passing through the pupil to the retina (p.24).
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